Re Sounds Of The 60s

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Sara D
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:32 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Sara D » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:58 am

pljms wrote:Brian Matthew always maintained that the most popular and most requested artists on Sounds of the 60s were Billy Fury and Dusty Springfield. While Fury to my knowledge never recorded any Bacharach material, we all know that Dusty recorded practically an album’s worth of his and Hal David's songs. Because the Carpenters’ ‘Close to You’ was a hit in 1970, the only record of the song I ever heard played on SOTS was Dusty’s beautiful version. Here’s a sound only recording of her performing the song on UK TV in 1968 and apart from her slightly bizarre introduction what’s interesting about this performance is how she swaps the verses around as well turning moon dust to stardust and starlight to moonlight. Being familiar with her self-confessed problem with remembering song lyrics during live performances, I doubt very much if these changes were in any way intentional.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJLOOXCvyqk


I remember that most of the Brit girl singing stars of the 60s were hugely popular in our school but none more so than Dusty Springfield, or 'Rusty Springboard' as we inevitably called her and looking back now I’m sure it was as much to do with her look as her singing voice. Helen Shapiro, otherwise known affectionately as 'The Foghorn' because of her deep contralto voice, was also admired and not a little envied because she was not much more than a schoolgirl herself when she was having her big hits. Sandie Shaw was effortlessly stylish and always seemed to have the attitude that it was all just a bit of fun and that one day she’d get a proper job (she did, becoming a psychotherapist). Petula Clark had a distinctive voice and looked good but was so obviously older than the others that she was more likely to have reminded us of our mothers! With Cilla Black it was all about the extraordinary songs and I don’t remember two others making more of an impression on us than her remarkable recordings of ‘Anyone Who had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’. When we gravitated from singles to albums I recall that ‘Dusty in Memphis’ got passed around a lot as did the now less well known ‘Helen in Nashville’ from about five years earlier. Any fears that Helen Shapiro may have made a ‘country’ album by recording at the home of C&W with local musicians were soon dispelled when we heard the earthy R ‘n’ B tones of ‘Woe is Me’. It’s hard to believe now that something as raw as this could have been a Top 40 hit in the UK at that time and it features a vocal cords lacerating performance from Helen as well as a fuzz guitar solo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OxBN8Ktkjs

Martin Johnson
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Martin Johnson » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:26 am

Sara, I can recall members of the Beatles enthusing about Helen Shapiro's 'Woe Is Me' at different times over the years and you can hear why they would. However, I think the 'Helen In Nashville' album hasn't aged as well as 'Dusty In Memphis' simply because it's much more a product of its time (1963) and a good deal more formulaic. Apart from 'Woe Is Me' the tracks that work the best for me are 'It's My Party', which apparently was recorded before Lesley Gore's hit single release, and 'When You Hurt Me, I Cry', which isn't a million miles away musically from some of the material Bacharach composed in the late 50s and early 60s:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KPZMWElD6eI

Going back to 'Dusty In Memphis', here's a track that got played on SOTS several weeks ago and it's long been a favourite of mine, Randy Newman's 'I Don't Want to Hear it Anymore':

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=drGEBY59iGo

Sara D
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:32 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Sara D » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:30 am

Yes, it's interesting comparing the albums Dusty Springfield and Helen Shapiro made in the US and perhaps it's no coincidence that working with American musicians inspired some of the best performances of their careers as they were both steeped in American music. I've read that In common with Burt Bacharach before them, the producers and musicians involved in the making of 'Dusty In Memphis' were taken aback by her insecurities as a singer and wondered how someone gifted with such a sublime instrument could be so riddled with self doubt. This still is the album's most famous track and my personal favourite since I first heard the album in 1969.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dp4339EbVn8

In stark contrast, I doubt that the musicians and backing singers booked for the 'Helen In Nashville' sessions, including members of Elvis's regular studio band and the Jordanaires, were too excited about the prospect of backing a 16 year-old English girl they'd probably never heard of. That was until she started to sing the first number on a run-through and they heard 'The Foghorn' for the first time. The influence of Ketty Lester's 'Love Letters' is all over the arrangement of 'I Walked Right In (With My Eyes Wide Open) which features the kind of poised and assured vocal performance that apparently so impressed the local musicians and backing singers during the making of the album. In her autobiography she wrote that all the musicians had to go on initially for all the songs was a basic chord chart and that the arrangements were worked out then and there in the studio and then committed to tape from memory, which she gathered was the standard way of doing things in Nashville in those days.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lCgaDgmLL9w

pljms
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Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby pljms » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:09 am

I heard the 'new' Sounds Of The 60s yesterday morning and what a dispiriting experience it was. By moving the show to a 6am start and changing the format so it's now practically nothing but over-familiar hits presented by someone speaking inane gibberish proves that the new BBC Radio 2 boss had no real understanding of what made SOTS so successful for so long and so beloved by millions. The chances now of hearing rare Bacharach gems like this track (just a tantalising snippet) are virtually nil.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/records/n2rh8f

Listening to Helen Shapiro's 'I Walked Right In' posted here I was trying to remember if I've ever heard her sing lower when I recalled a track I first heard on SOTS years ago, 'Sensational'. I remember back in the 60s the press having a field-day when it emerged that she'd been thrown-out of her girls' school choir because her voice was considered too deep and stood out too much amongst all the shrill high sopranos.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eoSavmqIIMU
pljms

blueonblue
Posts: 1278
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby blueonblue » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:59 am

pljms wrote:I heard the 'new' Sounds Of The 60s yesterday morning and what a dispiriting experience it was. By moving the show to a 6am start and changing the format so it's now practically nothing but over-familiar hits presented by someone speaking inane gibberish proves that the new BBC Radio 2 boss had no real understanding of what made SOTS so successful for so long and so beloved by millions. The chances now of hearing rare Bacharach gems like this track (just a tantalising snippet) are virtually nil.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/records/n2rh8f

Listening to Helen Shapiro's 'I Walked Right In' posted here I was trying to remember if I've ever heard her sing lower when I recalled a track I first heard on SOTS years ago, 'Sensational'. I remember back in the 60s the press having a field-day when it emerged that she'd been thrown-out of her girls' school choir because her voice was considered too deep and stood out too much amongst all the shrill high sopranos.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eoSavmqIIMU


pljms, thank you for posting 'Knowing When to Leave' by Gordon MacRae.
I've never heard that version before ?
Sounds really good !

'blue'

pljms
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:43 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby pljms » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:13 pm

Blue, Gordon MacRae's 'Knowing When to Leave' was released on his 'Only Love' album in 1969 on the Reprise label. It was also the B-Side of a single with the album title track as the A-Side. The album also contained 'Whoever You Are, I Love You'. It has yet to have a CD release and to my knowledge neither of the Bacharach & David songs have ever appeared on YouTube. As for BBC radio airplay, I remember David Jacobs playing 'Knowing When to Leave' on his daily lunchtime show on Radio 2 in the mid-80s, but that's it and whatever chance it had of being played on SOTS have now all but gone. Incidentally, both the LP and the single turn-up on e-bay on a regular basis and that's where I got my copies many years ago.
pljms

blueonblue
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby blueonblue » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:56 pm

pljms wrote:Blue, Gordon MacRae's 'Knowing When to Leave' was released on his 'Only Love' album in 1969 on the Reprise label. It was also the B-Side of a single with the album title track as the A-Side. The album also contained 'Whoever You Are, I Love You'. It has yet to have a CD release and to my knowledge neither of the Bacharach & David songs have ever appeared on YouTube. As for BBC radio airplay, I remember David Jacobs playing 'Knowing When to Leave' on his daily lunchtime show on Radio 2 in the mid-80s, but that's it and whatever chance it had of being played on SOTS have now all but gone. Incidentally, both the LP and the single turn-up on e-bay on a regular basis and that's where I got my copies many years ago.


pljms,
I'll try and look out for those....thank you for the info, very much appreciated.

'blue'

Martin Johnson
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Martin Johnson » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:22 am

One thing this thread has reminded us of is just how extraordinary Helen Shapiro was at the beginning of her career and if any teenager could sing the blues totally convincingly it was her:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AXBy0w8u3PE

pljms
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:43 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby pljms » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:30 pm

Martin, this thread has actually encouraged me to dig out all my old Helen Shapiro recordings and while the early hit compilations still sound terrific it's the later jazzier stuff which I find myself appreciating more. Sadly, she no longer gigs but I managed to see her in the late 90s singing with the Humphrey Lyttleton Band at the 100 Club in Oxford Street and what impressed me most, apart from her still powerful and unique voice, was her obvious affinity with the jazz and blues repertoire, not to mention her undoubted charisma.

Brian Matthew, the now sadly former presenter of Sounds of the 60s, is known to be a personal friend as well as a fan of Helen's and I remember him playing this track on the show but the first time I would of heard it was when David Frost chose it as one of his Desert Island Discs. He said then what I reiterate now and that is how is it that a 15 year-old from North London can sound so convincing singing the 'St. Louis Blues'?
:D
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PewF0LYmYtk
pljms

pljms
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Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby pljms » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:32 pm

Former Sounds of the 60s presenter Brian Matthew died today seventy-two hours after the BBC mistakenly announced his passing. For those not familiar with his mellifluous tones here he is interviewing George Harrison in the mid-60s.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FdY2yFDTduM
Last edited by pljms on Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
pljms

blueonblue
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Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby blueonblue » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:30 pm

My God that's sad news !
R.I.P. Brian...you'll be missed.

'blue'

Sara D
Posts: 236
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Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Sara D » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:15 am

Brian Matthew's voice was the sound of Saturday morning, and what a voice.

Martin Johnson
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Martin Johnson » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:24 am

There's a special tribute show to SOTS presenter Brian Matthew on BBC Radio 2 Easter Sunday evening at 7pm. One of stars remembering him will be his personal friend Helen Shapiro and they go all the way back to 1961 when she made her TV debut at 14 on a show he presented called Thank Your Lucky Stars. This is from the same year on Live From The London Palladium and she's performing her No.1 record at the time, 'You Don't Know':

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFbywck5mcU

Martin Johnson
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Martin Johnson » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:10 am

The Brian Matthew Story was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 last Sunday evening and was a fitting tribute:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b8vh ... _and_music

Sara D
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:32 am

Re: Re Sounds Of The 60s

Postby Sara D » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:24 pm

I missed the show on the radio, Martin, so thanks for posting the link. I hadn't realised just how far back his radio career went. Also it was revealed that he was quite tough and not quite the cosy, avuncular man of recent reputation.


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